Release Date: Jun 9, 2020
Heat Level: Sensual
Imprint: William Morrow
Dance Away With Me is the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Tess Hartsong has escaped to Runaway Mountain to forget the pain and heartache of her past. Once settled in her remote cottage she meets several characters that also inhabit the mountain including a famous model, a family of survivalist preppers, a coffee shop owning Dead Head, and the famous artist Ian North. Ian has come to the mountain to escape his own issues and create in peace. When circumstances throw Tess and Ian together can they heal themselves and each other?
This book, the first from Phillips in four years, is an excellent example of why her work is so popular with readers. Phillips is a master at creating characters that make us think, feel, and laugh in stories that not only are romantic but tackle difficult subjects. Tucking into this book was like getting a letter from a much loved friend. Phillips’ characters, plot, and pacing were so good that I read over half the novel before noticing.
Tess is the quintessential Phillips heroine, maybe a bit battered and bruised, but definitely stronger than she realizes. She’s mourning the loss of her husband and unsure how she can move on. All she knows is that she’s isolated in the mountains and that’s exactly what she needs. She doesn’t intend to make friends, but suddenly gathers around her a community of misfits and outcasts that are so well written they feel real.
The hero, Ian, reminded me of some of my favorite Phillips heroes, his gruffness and secret inner softness will be very familiar to any fan of the author’s previous works. The chemistry between the two is some of the best Phillips has written. I love that Phillips can give us such an excellent hero that is not entirely perfect, but exactly what the heroine needs. One of the best things about this book was how both Tess and Ian silently and vocally supported each other through difficult times.
Dance Aways With Me showcases one of Phillips’ greatest strengths, which is the ability to tack the story to a very dark place before bringing it back out in a most spectacular way. She uses her incredible talent to tackle several difficult topics in this book including: miscarriages, teen pregnancy, death, grief, and small town prejudices. Yet, through all these difficult topics we get a passionate love story between Ian and Tess, funny small town antics, and beautiful friendships. I think some readers may be cautious of the topics in this book, but I can assure you Phillips handles everything with grace and tact that makes even the hardest topics enjoyable to read.
Overall, I loved this book, and was pleased to see that even though it had been several years since the last book Phillips has not lost her touch. This book reminded me of her previous works This Heart of Mine and Nobody’s Baby But Mine, which both handle similar topics to Dance Away With Me. Any fans of Phillips will be happy with her latest entry, and I’d highly recommend this novel to any new readers that are looking for a romance with a lot of passion and heart.